Sometimes we take the smallest things for granted in life, including ‘life’ itself. But in the end, if a lesson has been learned, we find that the simpleness of living is priceless. This is what I’ve come to find since we up-rooted from my hometown of Fort Worth, and relocated to Gulf-Coastal Texas. It has been a long road to plow (as my dear Mother used to put it), but I find now that our ‘garden’ (the garden that is life) is beginning to come-in quite nicely.
It all began the day we pulled out of Jamaica Beach RV Resort; happy to be leaving the paved-but-posh confines of the best RV park on Galveston Island. (Our opinions…and we’re sticking to it!) I have to admit, our past experiences with campgrounds has left us with a bitter taste for such surroundings. JBRV would have to be an exception…if you ask me.
Either way, and even though we would miss the hot tub, laundromat, pool…playground, and the charming little Seven Seas Grocery just across the road, we remained hopeful that we’d be well-on-our-way to actually gaining a semi-permanent address on Galveston Island. The Blessings we’ve been met with since that day have been abundant. We have been at our island home ever since; being lucky to have a very understanding landlord who knows what it means to start from the bottom and work your way up. He has become somewhat of a friend since we’ve gotten to know him better. He has also taken Nico under his wing by teaching him a trade that my husband had never-before learned. It brings to mind a saying I hold close to my thoughts: We never stop learning until we are no more.
So there we were– we had a place…but not entirely. Our very understanding landlord had taken a chance on us–renting us a lot, even though I know we appeared a rogue bunch. We had made a deal that if we could rent the place ‘temporarily’, and set up Camp Peniki, we’d be hard-at-it to find a better-suited living quarters…to keep up appearances mostly, since we’d live in our old Campervan full-time if society allowed. Had it just been us (Nico and I), we would still be out there…giving in to Wanderlust. But most vandwelling souls with little n’s find out the hard way–like we have–that we really aren’t free after all when it comes to the way we are ‘allowed’ to live or be.
So…we had a limited time to find a larger place to put on our really great lot…with a priceless view of the sunset…out over the bayou. I set to work searching and combing the internet, selling everything we didn’t need in storage to raise the money for our new home. Two weeks later, with half of our belongings sold and our storage half empty, we were on our way to get our new/old place: a vintage caravan in major need of some love. Perhaps it was the way I had called and called the man to see if our ‘home’ was still there (I had already claimed it in my mind). Maybe it was the desperation in my voice (I’ve never been very subtle with my emotions). I guess I’ll never truly know. All I do know is that he (the seller) took pity on us and ended up knocking $200 bucks off the price when we showed up with cash-in-hand. It’s a very good thing too, cause without that extra money…we wouldn’t have made it back to Galveston with our new place.
I know I’m just one of the numerous folks who believes that Blessings often come in disquise. This was so true for us when it came to getting our caravan-home…home. More than 24 hours later we finally pulled into our lot with what would become a full-time remodeling job. As that day before had gone, we’d suffered a major blow out in Liberty, Texas…right in front of a church, where the pastor had just arrived, on Memorial Day weekend. Due to the holiday and the late hour, no tire shops were open anywhere near the small town. The nice preacher man Blessed us with the offering of allowing us to park our travel trailer there…safely in the church parking lot for the evening. We all headed back to my Mother-in-law’s to stay the night, with hopes that we’d find a place to buy some spare trailer tires on a holiday Sunday. It’s great to know people when you are in a desperate state to do business when everyone else is on vacation or just off work.
Thank God we have good family to help us pull heavy things our old VW Van can’t; nice folks who know Nico’s family back in his home town; nice sellers on C List who don’t mind taking less and giving more to a family who was in need of a place to call home. And even though it has been a steady stream of remodeling our badly damaged and neglected caravan, I can honestly say…”It sure is a great feeling to actually ‘own’ our home. Bought and paid for; it may be small and not so pretty to some, but to us…it’s perfect!
It’s all in how you look at things. From where I’m sitting, this place is really coming around. I’ll gladly be sharing photos of our remod when the time is right. I hope it inspires some family…somewhere, to step off the crazy train of keeping up with the Jones’s, and live within (or below) their means. We are so-very glad we made that leap!
Blessings your way, from our Vagabond family to yours!
Just a few months ago…we pulled into Galveston with everything we owned in a 17 foot U-Haul truck, and Peniki (our old Hippie van) safely strapped on a car trailer. We were high on hope and full of dreams; we were. Arriving at around 3 am, we found an out-of-the-way spot on the seawall, crawled up into our old VW on the car-hauler…and fell in ‘til morning. We’d be heading over later to unload all of our stuff into our 10×15 storage unit that we’d pre-arranged weeks ahead of our move.
So there we were, soundly sleeping…exhausted and happy to finally be in Galveston. For several years we’d been trying to make a move. For several years we’d been locked in the rent-race and living paycheck to paycheck; never enough money to save or travel. Finally…we were really newbie transplants to the island—we were finally islanders.
“Yes…!” I said to myself as I awoke that morning to the sunrise out over the Gulf of Mexico. It hadn’t all just been a dream after-all. Baby was still soundly sleeping beside me. Nico was next to her, still snoring away. I knew he was road-weary after pulling such a rig for hundreds of miles. I let them both sleep while I sat there and watched the sun come up. It was beautiful! Just as I’ve always thought the sunrise is astounding, this one seemed even better than I’d ever witnessed. Perhaps it was because we had actually made the move and were trying to let it sink-in that we were in Galveston to stay and build our lives and a business; raise a child too. It was a dream…coming to reality.
So, for a while…I just sat there, mesmerized by the moment that was my here-and-now. I had no clue how it would all play-out: our establishing ourselves as islanders, our business launch, where we’d end up setting roots and living—in my father-in-law’s motorhome, was the initial plan—who we’d meet along the way, would we be met with success or failure. I had so many questions that would have to go unanswered…for the time-being. I wondered too if we’d find a way to get our music out there to the local music scene and start establishing ourselves as musicians more thoroughly in G-Town than we ever had in the city. I was left to wonder so many things. I would just have to wait and see.
Having enjoyed some quiet time to be alone with my thoughts, it wasn’t long before Nico was awake and back behind the wheel of the U-Haul truck; we had a busy day ahead of us…we knew. Me and Baby just stayed sleeping inside Peniki while Nico pulled us a little ways down Seawall and around the corner to Taco Cabana; we were starving and needed to carve out a plan for the day. Coffee…! That was all I cared about at the time. I needed some java-juice and I needed it quick!
A little while later, I was enjoying my black coffee…along with some really delicious bean and cheese tacos that tasted much better than I ever remembered them tasting before; even when we’d have them back in the Fort. We scoped out the goings-on of our first morning as islanders: noticing that for everyone else, it was just another day. The hustle and bustle—be-it at a slower pace—the tourists arriving or departing the island, the huge dinosaur-of-an-outdated-motorhome sitting a short distance away from us in the Randall’s parking lot. I wondered about the occupants of that motorhome for some crazy reason: were they new to the island, had they just gotten here or been here for a while? To this day, I still don’t know why I gave them a second thought.
Funny…the things I wonder and think about! I scare myself at times. And while I couldn’t actually know about what was going on for other folks, I knew for us, it was the start of a different life; one we’d been trying to transition to for quite some time. We just sat there and enjoyed ourselves and the down-time we knew wouldn’t last once we got to storage. It was a morning that will forever stand-out in my memory as the day we arrived; when Galveston made islanders of former city folks. We so-welcomed the change.
We travel for up to 6 months out of the year, and more often if we’re lucky. Part-time living/traveling with our little one in Peniki, our Vintage VW Westfalia, is what life is all about for our family. For us…it’s the way to go!
Here’s a little story that was recently published on Green RV Living, about how we roll…and live PT Off the Grid. God Bless and Happy Travels!
Okay…so it’s not Sunday ‘morning’ anymore, but afternoon. Still, I’m gonna write a little ditty ’bout the beginning of our day. Here goes…
As I write this, Hubby sits in the next room, strumming his guitar for his biggest-little fan: our baby Nixi. She loves to hear her daddy play his guitar, usually a bit of Pink Floyd, Staind, or one of our original songs we hope to put out there someday soon. Breakfast was served a couple of hours ago (Veggi-man Omelets w/ cheese), and now we are just enjoying our day while I try to talk myself out of working. I know we’re not supposed to work on Sundays, but I still have a lot of stuff to list on Ebay, and time is ticking away.
Oops! There goes the PA system — Hubby is about to crank it up! : ) Naw…I love to hear him get ‘into his strings’ (play the guitar), I too…am one of his biggest fans and he is one of mine. I feel truly blessed to have such a great guy for my very own. There was once a time in my life when I was all alone, my two older kids had their own things to do; not much time for Mom. And I remember one night…sitting out on my balcony, looking out over the city…up at the stars, when I prayed for God to bring me a man who would be the one I thought I could never find.
Never did I think, back then, that he would send him my way so soon. But…am I ever glad He did! Hubby plays beautifully ( I can’t strum a chord), and I sing (he can’t carry much of a tune, ‘ he thinks anyway); together, we are in tune. Life is a song we just keep on trying to play. Every now and then, we might hit a sour chord or two, but when we’re in tune and it’s all ‘just right’– Man! Ain’t it sweet! ; )
Happy Sunday to you all! I hope you find your path in life that is your perfect tune. God Bless!
August 16th 2009:
Another peaceful-quiet Sunday morning, and I just blew-off some steam (see ‘You can’t Bullshit a Bullshitter’ post). Hubby is still soundly dreaming, getting in some much-needed rest. Me…? I’m running on baby-time: up early…can’t go back to sleep because I’m a burst of energy. No worries…! By this afternoon, I’ll be the one resting and Hubby will be taking up the slack for me. We work in shifts around here. : )
Already, I’ve managed to fix me and baby an early morning snack (cinnamon toast with coffee); watered most of my growing number of plants…inside and out (still watering flowers/plants out back); managed to blow-off steam about biggest pet-peeves; Oh yeah! Move getting dressed to the front of the list, lol; tried to call my sister…no answer; now…I am writing this little tidbit-of-a-thought. If you have time to read it…fine. If not…that’s fine too, I’m an understanding kind of gal.
No, really… I’ve been thinking alot lately about the beach, getting on with a life I can embrace. Hubby and I want to move closer to the ocean. Really…we’d both love to just wake up, walk out the back door…and be there, right on the beach, each morning. I’ll keep on writing; maybe it’ll all pay-off someday. I choose to follow my dreams, work hard for them, and see what comes…come what may. So on and so forth…
I figure in the next hour of this new day, Hubby will be rolling out of bed, so will my teen-aged son, and we’ll all brunch in a leisurely fashion. As for the rest of the day? We can tackle a never-ending list of ‘honey-do’s’…or we can take advantage of the day off and do a whole lotta nothing. More than likely, we’ll compromise and cross-off a few tasks from our list and get some rest afterwards.
What we’d really love to be doing is heading to the beach. As they say… “Life’s a BEACH, and then it’s…not.”
*Peaceful Sunday to You All!*
June 28th 2009:
I woke to a morning of peaceful quiet. Though it is early morning still; the dog and cat have both been fed and are at rest in their chosen spots.
The wonderful man who sleeps beside me takes in a much needed rest after a long exhausting week. The baby girl in my womb barely stirs as I pray that God has kept my just-married daughter and my teen-age son safe where they sleep.
All is right in my world…
I awake to no regrets.
But I think back to a time when I was lost in life and love…in every way. I feel for those who are…still.